Stories about Match Fixing

Umar Akmal: From child prodigy to cricketing enigma

Umar Akmal came onto the international cricket scene when the national team was surrounded by catastrophe. Rebellions, groupings, match-fixing and a loathsome competition for captaincy were the highlights of the Pakistani side. This was a mini flashback of the 90s, when the captaincy changed hands every time the team played badly and instability became the norm of the team. Akmal forced his way into the debris of one of the most colossal batting orders in the history of Pakistan’s cricket, on the back of the Australia A tour of June/July 2009. He had a walloping start in international cricket; just in his third game, ...

Read Full Post

Can Saeed Ajmal break the ‘curse’ of being the best bowler of Pakistan?

Over the course of several decades, one constant factor in Pakistan cricket has been the quality bowlers it has produced. From masters of reverse swing to the fastest bowler in the world, and from subtle drifters to the inventor and master of the ‘doosra’, Pakistani cricketers have added magic to the art of bowling. Cricket would be a much different game without the bowling contributions of our players. It would have been more of a batsman’s game with much less flair. But at the same time, to be the best bowler of Pakistan is a truly cursed position. Our masters ...

Read Full Post

Thank you Faf du Plessis for showing us that the ICC cares… about you!

Dear Faf du Plessis, First of all, one must congratulate you for imparting a unique idea of utilising the trouser zip for tampering with the cricket ball. In the past, some ‘enthusiasts’ had tried Pepsi bottle tops, dirt/dust in the pockets, finger nails, and even teeth, but none had used a trouser’s zip before. Once upon a time in Australia, our Afridi “Lala” had tried to chew and/or bite the ball in frustration after several defeats, but he couldn’t hide it from any of the cameras installed across the ground. As a result, he was fined for two T20 matches. ...

Read Full Post

Spot-fixing allegations: ICC, stop accusing Pakistan all the time!

Last-ball-wins in cricket are always thrilling, but when a debutante strikes a six on the last ball of the match to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat for his team, the moment is exhilarating for the team and fans alike. Zulfiqar Babar’s debut innings in the Pakistan versus West Indies match that ended with a resounding six on the last ball was one such occasion that will not be forgotten anytime soon. However the thrill of seeing my national team work hard for a victory and then finally clinch it through sheer determination was marred by the infuriating Daily ...

Read Full Post

Spot-fixing scandal: Give Butt and Asif another chance

Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif are once again in the spotlight, embroiled in the on-going spot-fixing controversy stemming from the infamous tour of England in 2010.  Their appeals against the ICC ban have been rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) just yesterday. However, Butt, who has been in the news more often than the other two, still aims to play international cricket again, although, he must serve his ban for the sin he has committed. He stated: “I will be 30 by the time the ban is finished. Let’s see if the motivation is still there.” “I am trying to keep myself ...

Read Full Post

When cricket was white and pure

Lord’s, 1982. When Imran Khan threw the ball to Mudassir Nazar, a collective groan went up. England were nine without loss as I watched sitting on the rickety benches positioned on the cover boundary. Sarfaraz Nawaz had gone off from a suspected side strain. Nazar, as he ran into bowl, looked like Shoaib Akhtar from where I was. I saw him bowl, saw the batsman leave and Wasim Bari dive behind the stumps but I didn’t see the ball. Suddenly, England were nine for three – Randall, Alan Lamb and David Gower all back in the hut. Pakistan went onto ...

Read Full Post

Mohammad Aamir, we want you back!

Not too long ago, Pakistan witnessed the début of one of the most talented and mesmerising young bowlers in the history of cricket. An aspiring teenager who, at the age of 17, had begun bowling for his country in all formats of cricket. Yes, I am talking about the very promising Mohammad Aamir. I don’t think anyone has been able to forget what a match-winner this lad had proven to be. Who can forget those deadly spells that played a significantly important part in winning us the World T20 in 2009, or the sight of a 17-year-old showing Sachin Tendulkar the way ...

Read Full Post

Euro 2012: Let the football festivities begin!

The football festival started in Europe this Friday with the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2012. Poland and Ukraine are hosting the event, while the rest of the world belts up to experience an array of great goals and intriguing games in the next three weeks. There are many aspects of Euro 2012 that are being overlooked due to the various off-field scandals that have attached themselves to the sport. The media seems to be inclined towards reporting the gossip rather than following the team and the sport itself. With some unsavoury match-fixing rumours still in ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan vs India: Silencing the match-fixing rumours

The match-fixing rumours started spreading after India’s victory over Pakistan in the Asia Cup match that took place on March 18, 2012. The match was played in its real essence – a typical Pakistan-India match that contained everything: high scores, long partnerships, centuries, nervousness, misfielding, bad shots, huge sixes, all round performance by the top performers of both the sides, two heroes, two villains from both sides, tense captains and a nerve-wracking experience that a match between arch-rivals usually instigates. But still, they say, it was fixed and their reasons are: Cricketing authorities want a Pak-India final, to earn millions of dollars and ...

Read Full Post

Did you buy Mohammad Amir’s story?

I want to. I really want to. I want to believe that Mohammad Amir is an innocent 18-year-old boy who was set up by his friend and captain – his fixer. But I can’t. There are a lot of things about Mohammad Amir’s interview that are bothering me. I feel like we are being told a story that is not true. I feel like we, Pakistani cricket fans, are being lied to… again. Since the interview aired, I’ve heard a wide variety of thoughts from the general public and Twitterati. One section feels sorry for the kid and believes that he was truly ...

Read Full Post